IBM/Lotus will use next week's Lotusphere conference to show its customers a long-term collaboration and cloud strategy that stretches well into the future and across its portfolio of software.
In addition, Lotus also intends to partially pull back the covers on Notes 9, known as Lotus Next, introduce to users new ways to acquire 8.5x versions of the software and show users that Domino has a future as IBM's marquee rapid application development platform.
"There is no doubt that people will leave Lotusphere with one of the most exciting road maps for the portfolio. Period," newly minted Lotus General Manager Alistair Rennie said during a podcast with LotusUserGroup.org.
But far from being revolutionary, insiders say IBM/Lotus plans to mostly unveil incremental upgrades and innovations to its current lineup of Lotus-branded collaboration software that includes Notes, Sametime, Quickr, LotusLive, Lotus Foundations and other software. The aim is to create collaboration options both inside and outside organizations and logical and secure ways to combine the two.
Lotus also has plans to showcase WebSphere Portal and its future integration with collaborative technologies. The portal technology is one subject in a series of mini-keynotes. The others help define IBM's future plans and will focus on unified communications/Sametime, Notes/Domino futures, on-premises/cloud/appliance delivery, social collaboration, development strategies and IBM appliances for small/midsize businesses.
Those sessions are likely to generate as many questions as Rennie's appoint as general manager just days before Lotusphere. He replaces Bob Picciano, who will now head sales for IBM Software. The move was part of a re-organization of the IBM Software Group that created two divisions -- a middleware group and a solutions group. The latter is headed by Mike Rhodin, another ex-Lotus general manager.
Last year, IBM/Lotus solidly tossed its hat into the cloud arena and this year the plan is to divulge its fight strategy.